Centennial College’s mission is to directly connect students to jobs, and its Apprenticeship programs are some of the most direct ways to accomplish this. One such program is Centennial College’s Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship program, where students both learn in the classroom and work in an auto repair shop to learn the ins and outs of cars. The Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship will focus on offering you excellent working knowledge of all of a vehicle’s systems, and its earn-while-you-learn training approach means that you will be compensated for the time you spend with your employer.
Sometimes a challenge is just that and no more. Not practical maybe but fun nonetheless. I owned at the time, a small shop repair shop where I would tinker with cars and motorcycles and make a few dollars as well. One afternoon during a bull session with some buddies, one of them said it would be neat if we could put a V8 motor in one of my Corvair cars. I had several of them and loved to tinker with the Monza model which was Chevy’s souped up version of this rear engined car. The Corvair had no independent frame and was one of the first uni-body cars on the market. Extremely lightweight, the six cylinder motor with the factory blower made the car zip right along. It really was a silly looking car in the first years of production, kinda boxy and square. Later models became more streamlined but suffered the same engineering problems of the early years and quickly the car faded into obscurity. I had one car with no motor and the body was not in the best of shape. I remember saying I could put the V8 in that car and the guys quickly put me to the challenge.
My shop had a pretty good assortment of tools, torches, welders, jacks and power hand tools that allowed me to make just about anything in metal. A big drill press, a good vise and tons of nuts and bolt
assortments put most of what I needed at hand. After the guys left the thought of doing this V8 conversion nagged at me and I found myself checking out the car to see if it was really possible. Putting the motor in the car could always be done but I thought how about doing it so you could not tell from the outside that the car was altered? At least until you started it up. There was no way I was going to be able to make that V8 motor sound like the wimpy six cylinder factory motor.
The first item on the agenda was to remove all the factory drive train components. Since the motor was already gone, the rear end, including the wheels were a snap to remove. I had a Chevy V8 short block that I could use for test fitting the engine into the trunk. The trunk of a Corvair was in the front of the car. A major amount of sheet metal had to be removed to squeeze the engine down into the truck compartment. I had to mock up the motor with some heads and intake manifold to assure the trunk lid (hood) would close after the engine was in place. Once I managed to get the engine into the trunk and was satisfied with it’s location, motor mounts became the next item to complete. Since there was no frame under the car I had to fabricate a partial sub-frame that was able to accept bolt-on motor mounts. I had several transmissions …